Developing an Entrepreneurial spirit in your child: Tips for parents

1. Create leadership opportunities

Your children may not get the opportunity to be a leader at school so why not create your own leadership opportunities for them. Next time your child has a birthday party why don’t they have a hand in leading one of the party games or pass around the birthday cake. Perhaps you are having a special family occasion. Get your children into the habit of talking to a captive audience! They could tell a joke or share a story that they have written. Perhaps you could get them answering the phone at home and arranging their own play dates.

2. Develop a goal setting mindset

Goals that are physically written down with a step by step plan to attack them are 80% more likely to be achieved. At the start of a school term get them to write down five goals that they would like to achieve during the term. From this 5 get them to select the one goal that they would think would have the biggest positive impact. You will most probably need to have a conversation with them around the goal they choose. Break the goal down into steps to be achieved.

3. Teach kids how to develop positive solutions to problems

Support your kids in creating positive solutions to answers when they come to you with problems. Model your thinking out loud to them. Thank them for sharing their problems of not being able to share their news in class or losing their shoes! Begin developing the mindset with your children that problems are actually helpful.


4. Encourage projects that involve selling

Does your child want to set up a fejoa stand on the street and earn some dollars. Let them. Ask them questions about how to advertise and what a reasonable price to charge would be. As parents we can quickly take over and do all the work leaving are children just to hand over the goods at the point of sales. Stand back, ask the questions and try to facilitate the process.

5. Reframe failures

Always help your child look for the lesson in failures they experience. Failing is actually really positive if it means dusting yourself off, getting up and trying again. Failure also builds resiliency and perseverance which are essential traits for any budding entrepreneur.


6. Develop financial literacy

Do you have your own business in which your children could help you for a small payment or specific chores that need doing? Pay your children to complete tasks but also share with them of how in business you pay yourself first. Get them also thinking about how money can be spent to invest in their skills like after school programmes etc and how money can be used to create money .

If they see something in a store that they want to buy, ask them how they could make that money themselves. This is also connected to point 4. Do they have lots of toys? Could they sell some and make way for more? Usually it’s the parents selling their children’s things on trade me and facebook. Can the children be involved in the selling process to? Perhaps they can be taught to take the pictures and help come up with a description. Opportunities are endless if you start thinking about it.

7. Inspire creativity

What are your children into at the moment? What are they watching, wanting and wearing? Are there particular brands that catch their eye? Start asking your children to notice billboard and advertisments. Ask them about what message the material is trying to convey. Encourage your children to market the ideas they come up with in point 4.

8. Develop effective communication

This one most definitely comes from us. Helping our children maintain good eye contact when they are talking to other children or adults. If your child speaks really fast or mumbles, teach them to slow down. If your child is older and has their own phone and are texting, have a chat with them about messaging eticet  and the differences that arise when they communicate via email.

9. Develop community awareness

Being an aspiring entrepreneur doesn’t only mean turning a profit. It also means giving back to the community you are in to create a positive footprint in the lives of others. Talk to your children about ways that they could give back. It could be as simple thing that you do as a family. Perhaps there is an elderly  neighbour on your street  that doesn’t get visitors or you choose to use some of your hard earned cash to buy $1 children’s books from the lions foundation and take them to a school in an economically challenged  area. Getting children to see how money can be used for good is a wonderful thing.


Finally, any opportunity you can get, model, model, model. A lot of repetition is needed in lots of different ways to slowly engender an enterprising mind set. We are all incredibly busy. The trick here is not to think about not having time but how I am going PRIORITISE  time. A very different  mindset.

Once you start thinking this way, your ideas will flow. 

These are the tips I constantly work on with my children.

Some of the things my 9 and 13 year old get up to are

  • Make comic books to sell to family
  • Put on a dance/drama show each summer with bunch of their cousins for family and friends where they plan the show, practice, get an uncle to compere, buy food, sell the food, create advertising and then divide the profits afterwards.
  • Make us dinner. They plan the menu, buy the ingredients if there not already at home (we are with them in the supermarket) and were working on them to wash up!
  • My daughter asked everyone who came to her 10th birthday party come with a $10 donation instead of a gift for her. She donated all the proceeds to the Christchurch Earthquake appeal.

I would love to hear back from you, if you have found this tip sheet useful in any way or indeed anything that your children have been up to since.




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